There's been a lot of activity on the site today on what we should do with LJ. Cut him. Bench him. Suspend him. Let him and Haley go behind closed doors and hug it out. Regardless of which group you fall into, you likely have ideas of how you'd like to see the Chiefs' resident malcontent dealt with, particularly after his latest outburst.
Unfortunately, while we don't get to be the one making the final call on LJ's fate and ultimately don't get any input into how we would deal with him, we can (thanks to ArrowheadPride) each make an "If I were Pioli ..." statement about how we would solve this particular problem.
And, hey, putting them all here -- in one place -- allows us to see others' proposals without having them clog the conversations in other threads.
As for me? Well, my proposal is after the jump ...
If I were Pioli, I'd deal with LJ this way:
First I would suspend him immediately for four games for Conduct Detrimental to the Team. He made this about money, even going so far as to flaunt the fact that his fans were working for "$5 an hour." So, I would make this about money, too; if he's suspenDed, he doesn’t get paid.
Then, I would instruct Haley that LJ Is to be put on the Game Day Inactives list every week for the remainder of his contract. The reason for this is simple: A lot of his contract is built on incentives. If he doesn’t play, he doesn’t get them.
Any time he mouths off during that career-ending benching (because, really, who's going to want him two years down the road?), he gets moved back to the Suspended list and he loses more money. Let's face it, he's too dumb not to do it. This incident (and others throughout this season) proves that.
But, I hear you saying, this just frees him up to do whatever he wants.
No, it doesn't. Just because he's benched doesn't mean that you don't still make him come to practice. Failure to show up to practice comes with a fine, meaning that you get more of your money back. Having to be at practice every day keeps him from being able to jet off to New York or Vegas during the week without it costing him. And, if he misses more than a single practice? Suspended.
This solution does a number of things:
1) It keeps him here, in Kansas City, until the end of his career. That prevents him from "winning" by complaining his way out of town. Cutting him just lets him go somewhere else while we eat a big chunk of money for his contract.
2) It prevents him from breaking Priest Holmes' record(s). That was what LJ was aiming for this season. It's what means the most to him at this point.
3) It keeps us from having to pay the bulk of his contract. He doesn't get paid when he's suspended. He doesn't get paid for the incentives he doesn't reach. Yes, we'd still be forking over a lot of cash for the guaranteed part of his contract but, as I recall, we've got a bit of money that we still need to spend.
4) If, on the off chance that this punishment actually gets to him, if he actually sees the light and changes his ways (as we all thought he might've at the beginning of the season), he can be put back on the team -- on the third string, of course.
So, what say you? If you were Pioli, how would you deal with LJ?